Georges Van Den Abbeele, dean of the School of Humanities, has notified me, the chancellor and the humanities school faculty that he will return to faculty status at the end of his term as dean, effective Jan. 1, 2018. We anticipate a national search for a successor and will begin discussion with the faculty shortly.
Dean Van Den Abbeele has served as an inspiring and visionary leader of the School of Humanities since 2013. Under his guidance, the school established several cross-disciplinary and interschool initiatives that have either been global in scope or on the cutting edge of humanities scholarship. New programs, academic offerings and centers in Middle Eastern studies, Armenian studies, critical Korean studies, Persian studies and medical humanities have been developed and have flourished during his tenure. In the same vein of global leadership, he secured several endowed faculty positions, including the Meghrouni Family Presidential Chair in Armenian Studies and the Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies.
In his second year as dean, Van Den Abbeele established the Humanities Commons, UCI’s center for graduate and faculty scholarship in the humanities, which has become a hub of community outreach and intellectual engagement in the Orange County community and beyond. It also provides a centralized home from which faculty and grad students can secure funding for their research and initiatives. Programs such as Th!nk and Humanities Out There, which bring UCI scholars to public institutions as interns and mentors, have continued to grow year over year.
The growth of UCI’s fine art collection has been of personal significance to Dean Van Den Abbeele. Under his leadership, the school received more than $4.7 million worth of historical maps, botanical illustrations, watercolors and prints from various donors. The art is both on display in the school and incorporated into the curriculum.
Please join me in extending our warmest appreciation to Georges Van Den Abbeele as he completes his fifth year of service to the School of Humanities and our best wishes for his continued success as he takes on the next stage of his career.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science